Bags of cannabis found under tree, court is told


TWO plastic bin bags containing 154 slabs of a brown substance were found at the base of a tree at Monasterboice, Co Louth, Dundalk Circuit Court was told yesterday.

Analysis of 50 slabs showed they contained cannabis resin, enough to make at least 100,000 cannabis cigarettes.

Mr Vincent Donegan, Monasterboice, has pleaded not guilty to possession of cannabis resin at Monasterboice on May 28th, 1995. He also denied possession with intent to supply.

Mr Turlough O'Donnell, prosecuting barrister, said at about. 1 a.m. Mr Brendan Gillard, a Monasterboice Inn staff member, saw two men in a car in the car park. The passenger and driver opened the boot and the passenger took out two plastic bags.

He said the passenger carried the bags up an embankment. He reappeared a short time later without the bags. He and the driver then drove off towards Drogheda. The car's number was taken by staff who alerted gardai.

Mr Gillard told the court that after the car, a red or marooncoloured Volkswagen Jetta, left he and another member of staff followed the tracks to the base of a tree where he saw two black bags. They brought them to the inn and left them in the kitchen until gardai arrived. He said they contained what looked like bricks or briquettes and were individually wrapped.

He agreed with Mr Michael O'Higgins, defending barrister, that the bags were not concealed and were clearly visible.

Garda John Yorke, Dwgheda said that just before 1 a.m. he and Garda Michael Kavanagh stopped a red Volkswagen Jetta car travelling towards Drogheda. The driver gave his name as Gregory Gogarty, Beaubec, Drogheda, and said they had come from the Monasterboice Inn. The passenger gave his name and address as Vincent Donegan, Monasterboice.

Garda Yorke said that a superficial search of the car did not find any drugs nor did a search of the defendant's home.

The trial resumes today.